Letters

Letters 09-15-2014

Stop The Games On Campus

Four head coaches – two at U of M and two at MSU – get a total of $13 million of your taxpayer dollars each year. Their staffs get another $11 million...

The Truth About Fatbikes

While we appreciate the fatbike trail coverage, the quote from the article below is exactly what we demonstrated not to be true in most cases last season...

Man Has Environmental Responsibility

I tend to agree with Thomas Kachadurian (“Playing God,” Sept. 8) that we should not interfere with the power of nature by deciding what is “native” and what is not. Man usually does what is better for man (or so we believe), hence the survival and population growth of our species...

The Bush & Obama Facts

Don Turner’s letter to the editor on 8/25/14 stated that there has never been a more corrupt, dishonest, etc. set of politicians in the White House. He states no facts, but here are a few...

Ban Pesticides

I grew up downstate in a neighborhood without pesticides. I was always very healthy. Living here, I have become ill. So I did my research and found out a lot about these poison agents called pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, chemical fertilizers, etc) that are being spread throughout this community, accumulating in our air, water and soil...

Respect for Presidents?

Recently we read the Letter to the Editor that encouraged us to stop characterizing President Obama as anything other than an upstanding, moral, inspiring “first Black President”. The author would have us think that the rancor in the press, media and public is misguided. And, believe it or not, this rancor is a “glaring exception to … unwritten patriotic rule” of historically supporting all previous presidents...


Home · Articles · News · Other Opinions · The King is dead... get...
. . . .

The King is dead... get used to it

Ross Boissoneau - July 6th, 2009
The King is Dead...
... get used to it
By Ross Boissoneau 7/6/09

And in a news flash, Michael Jackson is still dead. So is Anna Nicole Smith.
Yes, it is news that Jackson died so suddenly and mysteriously. But the complete meltdown of the tabloid press – and the not-tabloid press – is so over-the-top as to be ridiculous.
Not that Jackson would have minded. This type of overblown media coverage is something he helped create and fueled. Some, such as Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom, have painted Jackson as a tragic figure alternately celebrated and vilified by our country’s celebrity-mad culture. Which is true enough, but conveniently ignores the culpability of those who feed into it. Such as Wacko Jacko or Anna Nicole Smith, or before them, Elvis.
At some point in time, whether they suffered abuse or overexposure, people have to take responsibility for their own lives and their own actions. By all accounts, Jackson never did. Instead, he holed up in Neverland, or Dubai, or someplace where he could be surrounded by his sycophants and apologists. Who can forget the images of him holding his child outstretched over a balcony, or standing atop a car waving to adoring fans while on trial for child molestation?
While he was found not guilty in that trial, his confession that, as an adult, he found it perfectly acceptable to sleep with children sent shudders through many, though apparently not all. Add to that his bizarre appearances in court, and of course his disfiguring himself through plastic surgery and bleaching agents until he was unrecognizable. For all the musical talent he displayed through his 20s and 30s, the Michael Jackson of the last 10-15 years has been a sideshow, a circus freak.
But you don‘t hear much of that from those bemoaning his sudden death. Instead, they focus on the Jackson of the ‘80s, when he ruled the charts with “Thriller” and “Bad,” or his earlier persona with his brothers, as a pre-teen belting out “I Want You Back” or “ABC.” Great tunes, obviously. And no doubt his music and videos were more responsible than those of any other artist for the integration of MTV.
But again, those showering him with such overpraise are missing the point. Biggest album ever? Yes. Greatest music icon ever? Ummm, well, one of them, maybe. Best or most important musical figure in history?Hardly.While his singing and dancing made him a star, he was far from the greatest at either. In fact, heard today, his vocal histrionics sound distressingly similar from record to record. I’ll take Marvin Gaye or Stevie Wonder, please.
And while he wrote many of his greatest hits, he didn’t play an instrument as does, say, Prince, or Steve Winwood, or Todd Rundgren – all of whom play guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards, write, produce and sing, and whose careers are still going strong and will eclipse Jackson’s in terms of longevity.
And if longevity is the greatest single marker of greatness, will Jackson’s music still be played in 20 or 30 or 50 years, like that of Gershwin or Duke Ellington or Count Basie? Or in 200 or 300 years, like that of Bach or Beethoven?
No, while Jackson was a man of his times, those times are 20 years in the rear view mirror. The sad, pathetic, scary person he became is gone now, and we should let him rest in peace.

Ross Boissoneau writes periodically about music for the Express.



 
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